Tough Stuff

Don't panic! What to do when you're freakin' out

Just when everything seems to be groovy—kaboom!—life tosses you an icky curve ball. Maybe it’s a school crisis. Or your BFF is icing you. Or, yikes, someone told your BFF that your BF is kinda over you. But you don’t have to panic at the first hint of Big Trouble. Learn to think your way out of any surprise scenario—freakout-free!


Believe in the power of you

Take a deep breath, and tell yourself, “I’m smart and strong enough to handle this—no sweat!” Then don’t doubt yourself for a sec. Having faith in your ability to take care of biz clears your head so you can brainstorm a solution.


Face the prob

Don’t go all ostrich and stick your head in the sand, hoping everything will magically disappear. Be real about what has happened, and resolve to take action. That said, don’t strain your brain worrying about silly stuff that won’t amount to a hill o’ beans. So you turned up at the Spring Fling in the same dress as that evil cheerleader Cara. Who cares?


Get the 411

It’s super-important to gather the info you need to scope out the sitch. Rumor has it that your basketball coach is benching you for the next few games? Before you freak, you need to get the facts straight. Go to the coach and tell her what you heard. You might discover that it was just a bogus rumor. But if the coach tells you it’s true? Talk to her about why she’s sidelining you, and get pointers as to what you need to do to get back on the court.


Don’t stress or obsess

When you’re socked with a shocker, it’s natural to want to run the scenario over and over in your mind, trying to figure out exactly why things went down the way they did. Don’t torture yourself! Rotten stuff just happens sometimes.

Say your BF Jason drops you for another girl. Sure, it’s gonna bum you out, but talking about it with a bud can really help. Know that you can’t worry about it 24/7. It’s crucial to keep the rest of your life chugging along strong. Stay positive by focusing on your favorite activities—hanging with your girls, keeping up with Veronica Mars, relaxing in a yummy vanilla-scented bubble bath.


Increase the peace

Sometimes, the only way to deal with a sitch is to make peace with it. With certain things in life, you can’t affect the outcome. If your ’rents tell you the fam’s moving 3,000 miles away, then that’s what’s gonna happen. Rather than losing it, get excited about the future. Just think about all the new friends you’re gonna make and all the new things you’re gonna be able to see and do! It sounds corny but, sometimes, what looks like the end of the world actually turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to you.


Get your game on

Life will always be unpredictable. Don’t bother wishing your brains out that nothing bad will ever happen to you—instead, know that you can take control of most icky sitches. Are you calm? For sure. Have the facts? Indeed. Clear on what’s happening? Yep. Now, put your problem-solving plan into action. Then keep rockin’ and rollin’ at it until you feel better about what felt so bad. You are so up to the challenge!


by Lisa Mulcahy | 2/1/2016